We all know hibiscus flower and the plant from our college botany days.

It is a commonly grown plant that one sees in private and public gardens and along road linings. But do you know that the plant parts are edible and nutrients-packed?

Hibiscus and its parts and edibility

The Hibiscus plant belongs to mallow family or Malvaceae. This is related to okra family and hence the flowers of both plants look similar with subtle differences.

It is a global plant and grows both in tropical and subtropical weathers.

The plant parts are used in food preparation, as animal feeds, and also as a food natural colorant and in making of traditional medicines. People in West Africa commonly use this plant parts as one of the ingredients in food dishes.

But now gradually other countries have started using it after realizing its multiple benefits.

Hibiscus flower (Source: Wikipedia)

The calyx, flowers, leaves, shoots, and seeds are rich in nutrients and anti-oxidants and can be eaten or used in foods or drinks.

Different recipes pertaining to this flower and plant are present online to be used and tried by consumers for their daily needs. The calyx has the highest flavor amongst the plant parts.

Nutritive value of this plant and its various parts

Hibiscus parts are rich in vitamin C. Additionally, it is loaded with minerals and other vitamins. The fresh calyces of the flower surrounding the petals have calcium, phosphorus, iron, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin C.

The plant parts also contain anti-oxidants. These mop up the free radicals from the body and prevent cell damage. Hence they boost immune function and are useful in chronic body ailments.

Fat content is zero. There is no fiber or sugar. But it has fair amounts of proteins and other carbohydrates. USDA states that a cup of hibiscus in its natural form provides 28 calories.

It has 6 grams of carbohydrates and 0.5 g of proteins.

Hibiscus as tea (Source: Organic facts)

You can make endless food dishes with these plant parts. Firstly, it can be used as a flavor, to make tea, or to make a natural drink.

Additionally, it can be made into a relish or syrup that can be poured over ice creams and pancakes or desserts. You can make a jam or marmalade or sauce of it.

Further, the calyces can be cut and added to salads. You can make delicious jelly from the plant. Moreover, the seeds and leaves are also edible. One can eat them in raw form.

Also, read Passion fruit: nutritive value, health benefits, and uses!

Health benefits of the plant

Hibiscus has wonderful benefits for body and mind. It boosts immune system. Moreso, it can lower high blood pressure and protects the heart.

The plant parts can help one control high blood sugar and is good for diabetes mellitus. It is good as a digestive aid and helps in relief of menstrual pain.

It also serves as an anti-depressant. No doubt, the plant is used in traditional African medicine to counteract many ailments and restore health and well being. It can help reduce weight and is useful in obesity.

Health benefits of Hibiscus (Source: Pinterest)

The plant and its parts can prevent cancer and possess anti bacterial properties. Most benefits come from anthocyanins that are present in the plant in large numbers. Moreover, it helps lower blood cholesterol.